A $30 movie rental service is expected to be released in 2018, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
According to the report, both Comcast and Amazon have joined Apple in helping to develop a system that will deliver premium VOD titles to be viewed in home for just 30-45 days after they are released in theaters. It has the potential to be more expensive to rent the movies than it would be to see them in theaters but this also depends on how many people are in one’s family. For a family of multiple people, I can see them being inclined to take up the idea. At the same time, those of us who enjoy the big screen experience want to continue to do so.
This won’t happen unless they are able to get three studios on board. With Comcast being the parent of Universal, one can assume this means that Universal is on board. Because of the antitrust laws, they have to reach out to each studio in order to get them on board.
Here’s where it becomes a tricky situation: theatrical exhibitors could, in theory, decide to boycott those films that are going to be available to be rented on demand within this time frame. Pitch Perfect 3 and The Greatest Showman could be among the first major titles available on the service but if those films get boycotted by theatrical chains, people are going to be pissed.
According to the report:
A major sticking point: Exhibitors want the studios to agree to keep the PVOD window the same for five or 10 years, as well as the traditional 90-day window. For years, theater owners have decried early home viewing as the death knell of moviegoing.
This is the hugest point. I’d rather the studios wait until after the initial 90-day window following release. Unless it’s a huge blockbuster film, people may just opt to wait. I hear it all the time: “I’ll wait for it to hit Netflix.” Not everything hits Netflix. Some films do, however, go on to be available to download on iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, etc. They aren’t always available for streaming on Netflix. It really depends on the licensing of the title.
I won’t lie–I see a ton of movies per year on my computer at my own leisure because I’m a film critic and the indie studios and smaller titles send them to me, mostly upon request. While this may sound great and all, don’t get me wrong, the watermarks do make it harder to watch on my computer and I’d prefer a theatrical screening.